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Giving Your Partner Money while He is in Prison

prison blog sending money to a loved one in prison

There are some things that everyone who has a partner in prison will face.

One of those things is the decision on whether to send him money, or not to send him money.  It is a personal decision.  Your personal decision.  It is a tough decision for anyone, but especially hard for those who are on a very tight budget.

If your partner is in prison, he needs money to purchase personal items and snacks.  I made the decision to send my husband a little money on a regular basis.  Remember, if you do decide to send money, every little bit helps.  I have talked with many women who think putting $5 or $10 on their husband’s account doesn’t make a difference so they send nothing.  But the opposite is true in prison.  Prisoners, on average, are provided about $18 per month in state pay. Adding another $5 or $10 to that amount and it could mean the difference between going to bed hungry or full for an entire week.

Money causes stress in relationships even when couples are together.

It is one of the top 3 reasons couples disagree.  Take the time to work through your concerns about money before you send it to avoid conflict.  If you are not sure about whether to send your partner money, here are some points you need to consider as you make your decision:

ron Tijerina sending money to your partner in prison
  1. Can you afford it? Sure, he does need money, but he has a roof over his head, clothes to wear, and meals to eat every day. If you cannot afford the basic necessities you and your children need, do not send money to him.  You must take care of yourself and your children first.
  2. Are your children’s needs met? I don’t just mean clothes, a home and food.  Consider that they need hygiene items, school supplies, and sports/activity fees.  These are all very important in helping stabilize your children’s lives and positioning them for success.
  3. Can you still afford phone calls and visits if you send him money? You will need to decide if you talking to each other and seeing each other on a regular basis is important to you, be sure you have budgeted for those expenses before you budget to send him money.  For us, seeing each other and hearing each other’s voices was our priority.
  4. What does he do with the money you are sending him? If he is gambling by playing cards, dominoes, or fantasy football, or excessively borrowing things from other people and always in debt to others, he is wasting your hard-earned money. If he is using the money to pay for things that help him become better (programs on a tablet), stay in touch with you (tablet phone calls, or emails), or snacks and personal items- you are investing in him and your relationship.
  5. Will you resent sending him money? If you really do not want to do it, then do not do it.  You will harbor negative feelings toward him and it will keep you from building a strong and healthy relationship.
  6. How much and how often will you send money? Setting boundaries around money is a great habit to get into as a couple.  This is the perfect opportunity for you and your partner to talk about what works for each of you and begin to set financial goals in place.  Self-control and open communication is vital when it comes to spending money wisely.


Money causes stress in relationships even when couples are together.

If you have decided to send him money, all you need to do is check with the institution’s policy for providing money.  You may have to make an electronic deposit, put money into an ATM-like machine in person, or send a money order.  Each institution has its own rules.  Be sure to check the rules before trying to send money.

Setting boundaries around your finances now will set a foundation for healthy financial habits when he comes home.  Don’t avoid the conversations, and DO include your partner in your budgeting process.

I am rooting for you!